Originally posted on Polka Dot Bride September 19th 2008

Today we have a very special guest blogger. Papa Polka Dot! Papa Polka Dot married in the seventies and is visiting Polka Dot Groom today to tell us about his experiences as a groom.

Ms Polka (my daughter) has asked that I recall my experience ‘of the olden days’ for those of you who are seeking to be ‘grooms’ or ‘groomsmen’.

I was a groom once and a groomsman twice.

A groomsman for a ‘footy mate’ and for a brother. The footy mate was a bit of a ‘fair-weather’ friend. I have not seen him for 30 years. One night at a football club presentation night in Sydney, he dipped my lovely iridescent orange tie into a schooner of beer. It acted like a sponge and I never wore that tie again! On another occasion he performed an act of destruction so low that it ripped me apart. I was in the habit of wearing an old, friendly pair of slippers to footy training before donning my gear. They were easy to drive in and slip on and off.

But one night after my post-training shower the slippers were no-where to be found. I discovered them in the urinal. Just like soggy cigarette butts, soggy slippers are not much fun. I had to work hard on forgiveness that night!

My footy mate got married in Sydney in the late 1970’s. It was a very rich experience. His family was relatively well-heeled and he had a very formal wedding. We wore tails. We all looked a million dollars. And the adulation was barely acceptable. Women of all ages came up to me at the reception and told me how ‘smart’ and handsome I looked. It didn’t take much getting used to! It was a memorable moment of sartorial splendour that has not been experienced since.

Photo by ckaiserca

As one of the groomsmen I had to help organize his ‘bucks’ night. It was all very civil. And it did not take much organization. His father had been a high ranking army officer and we had access to a wonderful top-notch club in Sydney for our dinner and drinks and cigars afterward. It was tame I admit. But most enjoyable!

For my brother’s wedding I can recall dressing in a red velvet jacket, red bow tie and black trousers. I looked rather spiffy – even if I do say so myself! (At that wedding the mother of the bride’s outfit rivaled the bride’s – so we fitted in rather well!) I don’t remember the duties being onerous. They were more ceremonial (such as keeping my brother from not drinking too much). But it was fun!

For my own wedding I had three groomsmen. All brothers who had shared a flat with me in Sydney. One subsequently married my sister.

We were married in the garden at my family home on a farm in New South Wales. My groomsmen wore light brown suits with dark brown velvet lapels. My bride and her bridesmaids wore long dresses with ‘picture’ hats. In those days light brown suits were all the rage – but looking back at photos of my wedding they look rather hideous. But it was the 1970’s! Our sartorial aspirations were quite low!

The wedding feast was organized and catered by the local CWA (Country Women’s Association) as were most country weddings in the area – and boy could they cook! All the food was laid out on large tables on the verandah, where the guests helped themselves and then sat around the garden and ate. The wedding cake and flowers were all supplied by local ladies who were talented cooks, cake decorators and florists. The guests traveled from far and wide and stayed at the local motels and pubs. The next day we had a ‘recovery party’ before guests went home. A typical simple country wedding of the time!

My groomsmen all fussed over me and simply looked after me. One groomsman, (my present brother-in-law) had, and still has, a penchant for tight organization. He exercised this on my wedding day by looking me in the eye and asking direct questions about how I was and whether I had attended to certain matters. I came across this technique later in life when learning how to reprimand and discipline my children.

On reflection he was a good groomsman and I had probably been a bit slack when I performed that role for my footy mate. But he deserved me. I still think of the iridescent tie that could have been.

Papa Polka

Papa Polka is a truly amazing man and father with a wicked sense of humour (insert beetroot red face from laughing several times during this post!) Thank you Papa Polka Dot for sharing your experiences today!